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Tips for recovery from IT band injury

GrantT

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Oct 2, 2012
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A brief update after going to the Hachioji Sports Clinic this morning. After twisting my leg around the doctor told me my hamstring, IT band and bum are too tight, and my bum and inside of my calves are too weak. The IT band problem is apparently related to relying too much on the outside of my leg, and I need to learn to apply power more through the inside of the foot and leg to prevent similar injury.

I was then sent to the torture chamber physical therapy room where I learned how to balance on a tennis ball via my bum, hamstring and IT band, and a couple of ways of strengthening the bum muscle and inside of my calves that I need some work at getting right. I also feel incapable of finding a position that effectively stretches my IT band. I showed them the running one @leicaman liked to in the video, and they seemed to like it but mentioned I had to me more flexible than a plank of wood for it to work.

No cycling for a while but swimming is okay so time to get wet.

Key: Outside = lateral side, inside = medial side
 
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Sibreen

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Does this mean if you strengthen your bum and calves you'll be even faster?
 

leicaman

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Glad you are on the road to recovery. The IT band stretch I linked to is great and seems to release quite a few muscles along the length of the leg, including my injured tendon that runs under my Achilles.
I guess one problem with cycling is that it doesn't really leave your body so sore that you feel the need to stretch whereas running almost demands that I stretch. I have learned to stretch from my running and brought it over to my cycling with I am are has helped me reduce my risk of injury greatly. I can't emphasise strongly enough the need to stretch after doing a workout, either on the bike or after running.
 

GrantT

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I do need to FTFU. I am pretty bad at doing regular daily stretching though. If only Strava had a "Ball up the bum" activity then getting my bum stretching exercises done would be as easy as a walk in the park.
 

GrantT

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Does this mean if you strengthen your bum and calves you'll be even faster?

With half a smirk and a hopeful wink GrantT asked the doctor if his rehabilitation would make him a faster cyclist.
The doctor replied almost immediately. "Of course it will, GrantT. leicaman won't see you for dust."
GrantT's eyes widened in hope and wonder as he contemplated the unthinkable. Could it really happen? Will I be faster than leicaman?
The doctor immediately burst into hysterics of laughter...
 
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leicaman

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The doctor replied almost immediately. "Of course it will, GrantT. leicaman won't see you for dust."
GrantT's ...
He means I won't be able to see you because you will have ridden into a ditch on a descent and kicked up a cloud of dust ;)
 

GrantT

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It's been a month since the last update (not that I don't assume there is anyone reading this web site who can't figure this fact out for themselves, I'm just adding a bit of context to help you catch up on the course of events posted to the thread. Why you even feel the need to jump down my throat at every little piece of imagined or apparent condescension I can only hazard to guess (and entering the minds of an imagined audience would be a chore though interesting perhaps (maybe next time (not!)))).

It's been a month since the last update. I've been getting "Rehabilitation" (or physiotherapy in English) once a week at Hachioji Sports Clinic. It's about half repeating the same stuff and half introducing new ways to stretch or train my muscles and tendons that I can then take home and repeat each day. Except I was too arrogant for that kind of dedication, until I started seeing people post rides on Strava again and I finally H'edTFU, replaced the tennis ball with a softball ball, and really began hurting myself properly. It seems to be working because after a good stretch/crush I can now manage a very short ride without any pain (two rides so far). I'm staying in the small ring and keeping the knee as far from my top tube as possible for now, but it's a positive change.

I've also ordered some cleat shims that I'll use to remind me to keep my knee away from the top tube for while, and am considering getting a trainer so I can do a short ride after the daily tendon crush. Also, after ballooning up to an incredible 71 kg, I'm back down to 69 kg thanks to regular swimming and no pre-intra-post-ride chocolate. Pre-injury weight was 68 kg.
 
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Musashi13

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Aug 27, 2012
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Good job. I've been waiting for an update.
I may have an injury of my very own now so while I'm interested in yours I'm fascinated by mine.

Keep fighting the good fight.
 

Musashi13

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Aug 27, 2012
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What kind of injury? Don't let saibot know or he'll start taking your KOMs.
He couldn't if he tried.

I managed to damage something (muscle, tendon, ligament, not sure) with the old tennis ball. Woke up on Monday two weeks ago unable to walk or straighten my leg, even. Agonising pain behind the knee. I walked it off but in stumbling along like a muppet for a week I have damaged something else. By Monday this week the calf(?) pain had subsided leaving me with excruciating misery around my ankle. Going to sleep that night proved almost impossible with a foot that felt as if it had been smashed with a sledge hammer. Painkillers through Tuesday and yesterday lead me to believe it had healed up only to find the burn there again today. Funny thing is, with both of debilitating maladies I was able to spin a pedal with no ill effects. Of course I stayed off the bike but needs must and the mamachari went here and there collecting monies. Walking is the problem.
 

leicaman

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It's been a month since the last update (not that I don't assume there is anyone reading this web site who can't figure this fact out for themselves, I'm just adding a bit of context to help you catch up on the course of events posted to the thread. Why you even feel the need to jump down my throat at every little piece of imagined or apparent condescension I can only hazard to guess (and entering the minds of an imagined audience would be a chore though interesting perhaps (maybe next time (not!)))).

It's been a month since the last update. I've been getting "Rehabilitation" (or physiotherapy in English) once a week at Hachioji Sports Clinic. It's about half repeating the same stuff and half introducing new ways to stretch or train my muscles and tendons that I can then take home and repeat each day. Except I was too arrogant for that kind of dedication, until I started seeing people post rides on Strava again and I finally H'edTFU, replaced the tennis ball with a softball ball, and really began hurting myself properly. It seems to be working because after a good stretch/crush I can now manage a very short ride without any pain (two rides so far). I'm staying in the small ring and keeping the knee as far from my top tube as possible for now, but it's a positive change.

I've also ordered some cleat shims that I'll use to remind me to keep my knee away from the top tube for while, and am considering getting a trainer so I can do a short ride after the daily tendon crush. Also, after ballooning up to an incredible 71 kg, I'm back down to 69 kg thanks to regular swimming and no pre-intra-post-ride chocolate. Pre-injury weight was 68 kg.
Ah, we are the same weight. Glad to hear you are recovering.
@Musashi13 i didn't realise KOMs counted on an indoor trainer.
 

GrantT

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Update!

Just got back from an MRI and diagnosis with Dr. Hamada at Tsurugamine hospital (where the pro keirin riders go says @FarEast). Result; Based on the MRI my knee is totally healthy - so when will reality start to listen?

Unless someone knows another doctor (a chiropractor is not a doctor, despite what one bike fitter believes), I'll be trying to build on the changes in riding style made so far to avoid aggravating the knee while still getting some miles in. Perhaps one day, and perhaps with the aid of a triple crankset (the horror!), I'll be strong enough to join a Saturday group ride in the mountains again.

I'll probably try another doctor to see what they say as well. Dr. Hamada said it's (whatever it's is) not something surgery can fix though..
 
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theBlob

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Sep 28, 2011
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Some things just take time, no Dr./machine can see everything or know everything. When I buggered my shoulder, it took a few years to get properly/sport functional despite being "healed" long before. Just keep at it, step by step, and before long you will be back kicking everyones ass. In the meantime you can splash the grannies in the pool carving up laps of the community centre?
 

leicaman

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So the doctor says the MRI shows there is no problem with your knee at all? But you still get pain? That sucks. Any ideas what the problem is? Do you only get the pain when cycling? I remember you saying that ou got pain when climbing stairs too, but has that stopped now?
 

GrantT

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So the doctor says the MRI shows there is no problem with your knee at all? But you still get pain?

Yes. The pain occurs where the IT band is connected to the tibia, not where the IT band rubs across the femur, which kind of rules out IT band syndrome as it usually occurs. What is actually causing that pain is unknown. Climbing stairs is totally fine, though if I aggravated the injury by not riding very gently on the left leg I can imagine that sort of pain would also come back. Only cycling aggravates it, swimming is totally fine, and I ran 6 km this morning and that was fine too.

I'll have to do as @theBlob says for a while and just go carefully bit by bit.

Dr. Hamada was good though. Best doctor so far.
 
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